Electronics > Beginners

Absolute Newbie Projects (follow on from the AmpHour)


Dave and Chris, just listened to the last AmpHour and really enjoyed it. I find there's nothing better to listen to while soldering up a protoboard on the bench.  :)

At the very end you touched on a suggestion I made on the AmpHour site about beginners projects, and I think you misunderstood my point...

--- Quote ---There seem to be so many newbies on the forums, It might be interesting to hear what you guys might suggest for the first projects a novice should tackle.
--- End quote ---

I went on the say that I have a set of projects I usually suggest, the first being a little 5Vdc linear power supply. I didn't mean that you guys should actually talk about BUILDING the projects, or the schematics or anything technical at all. So let me rephrase the question (and toss it out there to the whole forum)...

Given an absolute newbie to electronics, picture someone 12 years old who just bought their first soldering iron and their first second-hand meter, and now want's to build "stuff", what would you suggest their first dozen or two projects be?

Granted, probably all of us went through that phase decades ago (4 decades in my case), and granted there are thousands of small and simple projects out there on the web. What I've never seen out there on the web is something that plots a path for the first year of a new electronics enthusiast. Something that suggests "Build this" ... "now build this"..."and now..."

My list (I make it up again whenever the topic comes up) goes something like;
1  a 5Vdc liner power supply
2  some 555 based timer/time circuits (blinky LED circuits)
3  a simple audio amp (LM386 type thing)

Some CMOS logic/counter stuff??  Op Amps?? Filters? Radio?

My thought was that you could probably come up with a list of 24 simple projects that a new comer could build over the course of a year that would lay a (very) basic foundation. Then with some confidence and the first taste of competance they could veer off and head toward killowatt tube audio amps, or radio projects, or the next totally cool PIC/Arduino project, or whatever else piqued their interest.

I got motivated down this line very recently when I got totally pissed off to discover that component level basic electronics really wasn't offered in High Schools around here any more.

I think that, to be fair, the EEVblog's strength is that it is aimed slightly higher up the food chain. There are many many resources around the 'net for beginners, but not many for those who already know the basics, or who do it professionally. From a selfish point of view, I wouldn't want to go into the beginners stuff big time. Didn't Dave say that there is already a guy on YouTube getting hundreds of thousands of views for his beginners videos? I can see that before long though, there will be complete YouTube courses for GCSE (14-16 year old) and GCE A Level (16-18 year old) students, based on official curricula.

I don't mind explaining things to beginners as long as someone has done or is willing to do some research of their own. I used to work in a university and I was surprised how much I learnt myself from explaining things to students. If a person REALLY understands something then they should be able to explain it to someone in a simple and straighforward way.
Besides I'm still a beginner as well in many ways.


P.S My advice is follow your enthusiasms and build stuff that you can use. For example to equip a small home lab you could build a power supply. If you need to build confidence I feel that magazine projects are a really good start.


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